RICE miller and exporter Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co Ltd will start operating its US$6 million rice husk-powered electricity generator next month, its director said yesterday.
Chieu Hieng, Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung director, said yesterday that the Kandal province-based firm would sell the excess electricity from its 2.5 Megawatt generator to surrounding villagers.
“We hope that the electricity machine will not only supply us power for rice processing, but we will also be able to supply electric power to the villagers around here,” he said.
Meng Sak Theara, director of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy’s Department of Industry, said that the rice husk-powered electricity machines helped increase the Kingdom’s productivity because it was
cheaper to run such technology compared with alternative power sources.
“I think using an electric machine powered by combustion of rice husks will enable rice exports to have more competitive prices,” he said.
Chieu Hieng said new power source would see the firm more than double its export capacity. He said about 30,000 tonnes of rice had been exported so far this year but “when we receive the new power, we will increase our rice productivity for export to 70,000 tonnes next year”.
“We will take this opportunity to process more rice for export in an attempt to help our rice producers earn more income,” he said.
AKR already has an international rice processing machine in Ang Snoul district, Kandal province, where it processes rice for export to diverse markets including Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong.
The firm said it would use 1.5MW to process the rice, but will sell the other 1MW to villagers in the area at 900 riel per kilowatt. Normally villagers would pay 1,100 riel per KW from the national grid.
AKR, which can process 900 tonnes of rice per day, began building the new power source in 2009. It invested up to $6 million in the construction of the plant and the land it was built on.
In September, Golden Rice Cambodia said it was in the first stages of building a $2 million rice-husk power plant to supply electricity to mills in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district.